amanda-carterWas your work experience relevant?

Work experience is usually considered to be something done as a teenager, fitted within a neat two-week window around First Romance, GCSEs, and First Break Up. But what about revisiting it later in life to gain writing experience?

Savvy teenagers organise work experience to be within an industry that interests them. Sadly I wasn’t one of them. My fate for being the extreme opposite of savvy was two weeks in a wire factory. The only experience it taught me was one not to repeat.

Fast-forward time and I had given up a lucrative career in order to become a writer. I wanted to expand my writing knowledge and so decided to take a placement on a national magazine which was offering work experience.

As soon as the date was finalised, I started to worry. What if they were expecting some bright young thing with an asymmetric hair-style? Would they think it rather sad that someone of my age was still doing work experience?

I needn’t have been so anxious. A couple of people did ask me what I was ‘studying’, but my past tense answers didn’t raise any eyebrows. They were incredibly welcoming and I got the chance to sub-edit articles as well as write some features that were printed in a later issue. These in turn gave me confidence and helped secure my next writing contract.

When I was a teenager work experience was a box that had to be ticked. Coming to it as an adult, and knowing exactly what I wanted to get out of it, made such a difference. So if you are thinking of doing the same, don’t let your age hold you back.

What did you do for work experience?

My blog:

Finding work experience as an adult:

Gap year for grown-ups: